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Canada  

Will Meng be extradited?

Canada's justice minister will have the final say on whether to send a Chinese business executive to face fraud charges in the United States, she said Wednesday.

That could make Canada's spot between two economic superpowers even more difficult.

U.S. President Donald Trump's musing about interfering in the case of Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is fuelling Beijing conspiracy theories about Canada's intent behind detaining the company's top executive.

Canada has maintained that the rule of law is separate from politics, that the case against Meng will be judged fairly and independently. But if a court says someone should be extradited to faces charges in another country, the ultimate decision is up to a politician.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said Wednesday that she takes her "extradition responsibilities and obligations very seriously," and if Canada's courts approve Meng's extradition, "then as the minister of justice, I will ultimately have to decide on the issue of surrender of the person sought for extradition."

Therefore, Wilson-Raybould said in a statement, she wouldn't say any more because that "would risk undermining both the independence of the court proceedings and the proper functioning of Canada’s extradition process."

"In order to safeguard due process and to respect the independence of the courts, it is essential that the Crown’s position in this matter, as in all court proceedings, be presented in the courtroom where it can be properly considered," she said.

But Trump complicated that position — one his own ambassador to Canada also advocated on Tuesday morning — when he told Reuters Tuesday evening he would "certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary" in Meng's case, if it would help him forge a trade deal with China.

China's state-run media was already ridiculing Canada's assertion that Meng would be dealt with fairly and transparently by an independent judiciary, the same view U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft put forward.

"I think we're lonelier than we've been in a long, long time," said David Mulroney, who served former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper as his first foreign-policy adviser and later as ambassador to China. "(Trump) gave credibility to an outrageous Chinese accusation — that the RCMP basically works as an extension of the U.S. government to capture a hostage who can be used in their trade negotiations."



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